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Lobster a la Newberg

If you recall our Lobster Gram blog on the “Lobster Palaces of New York City”, you read about the famous, gastronomic emporiums of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where gaudy grandeur and lobster meals reigned supreme, and the ‘who’s who’ of New York Society mixed and mingled with the likes of Broadway stars, business tycoons, and social-climbing wanna-be’s.

Some well-known lobster dishes enjoyed today got their start at some of these lobster palaces, and according to lore (and there are confusing stories!), it was at “Delmonico’s”, where Mr. Ben Wenberg (maybe Wenburg), a wealthy sea captain and frequent habitué of the restaurant is said to have returned from a cruise with a recipe for a lobster dish made with seafood, cream, and egg yolks. Charles Delmonico, the owner of the restaurant liked it so much that he put it on the menu as “Lobster a la Wenberg”. One day, however, Mr. Wenberg got into a heated argument with Mr. Delmonico, and was banned from the restaurant. The dish was taken off the menu, but clientele kept asking for it. When the dish was restored to the menu, it was cleverly renamed “Lobster Newberg”!

So, we hope you enjoy this rich, decadent seafood creation—without all the drama! Our recipe (and historical recount) for Lobster Newberg comes to us courtesy of What's Cooking America.

Photo from Taste of Home magazine, March/April 2003 Photo from Taste of Home magazine, March/April 2003

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into ½-inch pieces*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco or ⅛ teaspoons cayenne pepper or to taste
  • ⅓ cup cognac, sherry, brandy, or Madeira (your choice)
  • Toast Points

*Fresh lobster is recommended. You can also substitute lobster tail meat.

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan or chafing dish over medium-low heat, heat butter until the foam begins to subside. Immediately add the cooked lobster meat and sauté, turning all the pieces, for approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add ¾ cup of the cream and add the salt; stir and simmer for an additional 2 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil).
  3. Meanwhile in another bowl, beat the remaining ¼ cup of cream together with the egg yolks.
  4. Stir in the Tabasco and cognac to the lobster mixture. Stir or whisk in a few tablespoons of the simmering cream mixture into the egg/cream mixture. Reduce the heat to low and stir the mixture until thickened (but not boiling).
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately on Toast Points.

 

Makes 2-4 servings.

This rich and creamy dish is guaranteed to make an impression on everyone privileged to to taste it. It's a classic American seafood dish that makes for an elegant entrée for any special occasion.